2 September 2010 The United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI) today called for the finalization of the voters’ list to ensure that electoral process was proceeding according to schedule, as the West African country heads towards presidential polls on 31 October.
UNOCI spokesperson Hamadoun Touré said at a weekly news conference that the UN mission will closely follow the setting-up of polling stations and monitor data that was validated or rejected when reconciling information contained in the provisional voters list.
Mr. Touré welcomed yesterday’s publication of a guide on media coverage of the elections. “UNOCI believes in ensuring compliance with this useful tool and the ethical values and standards it contains,” he said, recalling that the UN had contributed to the development of the guide.
He reiterated UNOCI’s commitment to continuing efforts started five years ago to ensure that the media and regulatory bodies in Côte d'Ivoire carried out their responsibilities professionally.
Responding to the concerns of journalists over continuing radio and television broadcasts from the north, central and western areas, Mr. Touré said that only the National Council of Audiovisual Communication (CNCA) was authorized to regulate the installation, distribution and closure of audio-visual media outlets throughout the country.
UNOCI has been providing logistical and technical assistance for the preparations for the presidential elections, which were supposed to have been held as far back as 2005, but were repeatedly postponed.
While preparations for the polls were on track up until late last year, they were interrupted in January. Political tensions began to mount after voter registration was suspended due to violence and President Laurent Gbagbo dissolved the Government and the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in February.
The electoral process restarted after a new Government and Electoral Commission were established, but further delays were caused by differences on how to tackle the issue of fraud and a dispute over the appeals process on the provisional voters list.
UNOCI was established in 2004 by the Security Council to facilitate the peace process in Côte d’Ivoire, which became split by civil war in 2002 into a rebel-held north and Government-controlled south.
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